BY EMEKA EJERE

As part of efforts to curb street trading of pirated books, musical works and movies across the country, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), has arrested three piracy suspects and impounded pirated works estimated at N250,000 in Abuja.

This move, according to NCC Director-General, Mr. John Asein, is part of the commission’s antipiracy operation in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to The Nation, three piracy suspects engaged in street hawking of copyright-protected works at the Eagle Square. Those arrested were Abubakar Abdullahi, Emmanuel Onyebuchi and Odushola Arowolo.

Suspected pirated works estimated at N250,000 were also seized during the operation included copies of various titles of foreign and local authors suspected to be pirated.

One of the street vendors, who specialised in unauthorised downloading of musical works and movies into memory sticks and mobile phones was also arrested while attending to some customers. His contrivances were confiscated.

According to the commission’s Director of Operations, Mr. Obi Ezeilo, the enforcement operation was a follow-up to the recent collaboration between NCC and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), was carried out by a team of Copyright Inspectors and officers of Nigeria Police.

“The street raid on vendors of books, music works and movies in Abuja signaled the commencement of a lineup of enforcement interventions at the FCT and other states on a sustainable basis,” he said.

Obi has reiterated its commitment to rid the streets, starting with the FCT, of pirated books and other copyright-protected works. He said: “The enforcement drive would be sustained until street trading in copyright works was stamped out. The arrested suspects who were interrogated at the commission’s Headquarters were granted administrative bail while investigation continues,” he stated.